Endlessly stylish, emotionally gripping and deceptively addictive, VA-11 HALL-A is the pure essence of a visual novel: a digital page-turner filled with unforgettable characters and set in an infectious cyberpunk noir that will live in your head for weeks after you've put the game down.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has FromSoftware's typical brutal difficulty, but honestly that's beside the point. What matters is the thoughtful, precision-based combat, smart use of stealth, and a skill tree that's trimmed of fat. This game shows what you can do with game design if you dispense with the extraneous and focus on strong core mechanics. It's a punishing, rewarding, and beautiful experience.
Windscape has its rough edges, but the scope, ambition and heart of this one-man passion project help it to punch above its weight class. If you want a Zelda or Skyrim-style game that's great for relaxing after a long day, Windscape fits the bill nicely.
Crashlands smooths the desperate edge off of open world survival crafting, and turns it into a laid-back experience that works best in short, pick-up-and-play sessions. That said I personally found the game's persistent random humor to be pretty irritating.
The conjuring house has confusing, repetitive level design and cringe-worthy voice acting, but the scares are hard-hitting and the gameplay is a constant risk balance of exploration and self-preservation. It's not a great horror game, but it does have some great moments that make its relatively brief campaign memorable.
Call of Cthulhu sadly doesn't live up to either its literary or pen-and-paper heritage. The setting, atmosphere and some of the voice acting are impressive, but the detective gameplay is shallow and fairly linear, and any other gameplay aspects feel buggy and tacked on.
Songbringer's general aesthetic and sense of humor rubbed me the wrong way, but the procedurally generated worlds are actually a lot of fun to get lost in, and the art style and music, though occasionally harsh, have a lot of love and nuance put into them.